Questions tagged [social-norms]

For questions asking about current or future normal behavior in a given society.

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97
votes
24answers
17k views

A believable place for your secret lair

In a modern, "western" country, where can I set my secret facility so that authorities won't find me for about 30 years? The needed amount of area is relatively large, a bit less than 200 m2. The ...
57
votes
16answers
10k views

Selling the right to kill one's convicted abuser: how could an NGO make this profitable?

A free-market solution to preventing further domestic abuse This society has gone full-on free-market everything including the punishment of severe domestic abuse. As a check on the abuser, the ...
55
votes
14answers
35k views

Why zero tolerance on nudity in space?

Set in the immediate future, mankind visits Titan, moon of Saturn for the first time. A manned space station goes into orbit around the moon once every 4-5 hours. Actually there have been many people ...
41
votes
15answers
12k views

Biological CPUs - why would the developed world fear them?

There is a bottleneck towards Strong AI in my universe. For whatever reason, no one has ever figured out an AI that is sufficiently autonomous to be left alone without intervention, and no one has ...
38
votes
10answers
8k views

In modern day combat, what would warrant singing during battle?

Cicad the singer is having a downtime in his career. Over the millennia, Cicad sang anywhere from royal courts to farmers' cottages and have been rewarded with many, many hand-claps. But to keep ...
29
votes
17answers
8k views

How can I frame human sacrifice as an honor without marketing it to the disadvantaged?

All living things possess a form of spiritual energy called reishi. This energy is used by humans to fuel their magical spells, but is also necessary for life to continue. There is a ritual that ...
24
votes
12answers
8k views

Why would a country persecute people with autism?

A alternate-historical story is set in a third-world country some time in the 70s or 80s. The country operates similarly to any semi-developed country in central or south America. The countryside is ...
24
votes
14answers
8k views

A Society Built Around Theft?

Would it be possible for a stable society to be built around the concept of theft as a positive action, and thievery as a virtue, while still having theft be technically illegal, but having the ...
22
votes
11answers
5k views

What if parents didn't “own” their children?

Passage of the Childhood Ownership Act of 20X8 Bob has finally made it to a position of power as a rich white male in the First World after hundreds of lives as a powerless child. He has used his ...
21
votes
5answers
4k views

Marriage and divorce in the future [closed]

In the future, if medical technology is significantly advanced and humans live indefinitely, or at least for human lifespans have increased by tens or hundreds of years, how will marriage/divorce/...
16
votes
16answers
5k views

Why would people be fearful of the dead?

Zombies do not exist in my universe, at least as far as my planet's reality, maybe in some other place, but not on BlinketyBlink. My world is very much like Earth, in that different people are at ...
15
votes
27answers
4k views

Why would a psychic subspecies of humanity choose not to communicate telepathically? [duplicate]

Human beings have the ability to communicate with their minds. This form of telepathy is quick and efficient, relying on concepts and ideas rather than words. A person can mindlink with others in ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Mating Habits and Social Structures of a Three Gender Species

The species here has three possible genders, "A", "B" and "C" (for simplicity's sake). Each of the three genders can mate with another gender, producing the third gender. In other words, A and B ...
14
votes
10answers
12k views

A society without law enforcement? [closed]

There is a society with a similar level of technological and cultural advancements as what we have. But there are no police officers. No government entities dedicated to investigating and punishing ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Looking at unconventional (by Western Standards) partnerships/marriages

Clarified and narrowed down as requested! The following guidelines have already been established for the world. These are presented so you get an idea of the people we are dealing with: 1. The ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

A realistic human civilization where there are no religions at all at any time? [closed]

Let's try to imagine a human civilization where no religions were "invented" at any point in time. How could it be possible? My thoughts are about some specific type of thinking in such a ...
12
votes
9answers
3k views

How would society react if someone finds out that plants have feelings like humans?

Some scientists discover that plants have humanlike feelings. Now it becomes unethical and immoral to have mass production farms for plants as it is yet for animals. As there are animal-right activist,...
12
votes
5answers
792 views

Acceptable time count

Supposedly we human are able to terraformed Mars decades from now, then in few hundred years able to enhance our genes to be more adaptable to live on harsh conditions, creating space colonies and ...
11
votes
8answers
4k views

How can I maintain the demigod powers of my clan while ensuring the purity of its bloodline?

We, the house of Habsburg, are a royal family that descend from the gods. Our founder, Cersei Habsburg, conquered Europe and brought peace and stability to the dregs of the continent. After taking her ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Reality Check - Cultural issues of a slave race being partially color blind

For a world I am working on humans managed to create a race of demi-human cat people. These people where tradionality treated as slaves/property but have in recent times been gaining some degree of ...
10
votes
6answers
493 views

How does one create specific swears and slang?

I am writing about two characters that come to our world from their own mirror dimension. There is cultural exchange between the two, but not tourism-level. The two characters are a royal witch and ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What prosthetics would be suitable for a rural aristocrat in history?

What kind of prosthetic technology would be available to a wealthy but rural aristocratic person without a leg and how would it affect their social standing? The time era is sort of pre-Elizabethan, ...
9
votes
11answers
3k views

Why would male organs make better ingredients for a spell?

Witchcraft in this world is practiced openly by witches and is exclusively female. Magic works through long, complicated rituals that require multiple components. The most powerful of these demand ...
9
votes
8answers
3k views

How can a royal family avoid political instability after a deathbattle?

Centuries ago, a powerful empire fell into civil war when the five most influential families battled each other for dominance. After decades with no side gaining the upper hand, the families agreed to ...
9
votes
8answers
3k views

If an inventor discovered how to build a teleportation device and used it, what laws would he have broken and could he be successfully prosecuted? [closed]

Imagine a world like ours but where a temporary portal could be constructed between two different locations allowing people to simply walk between these two places with a single step. Now imagine ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

A teacher can be a cheater, but why? [closed]

Quite along the lines of @Tim B. 's very popular question, but generalizing stuff a bit here. A teacher can be a cheater, after all, it's there in the name. Why would a teacher, a fountain of ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How to Design Clothes for quadrupeds? (Otherwise: Quadruped propriety in an intelligent, clothed society?)

In an alien society, humans, humanoids, bipeds, and quadrupeds mingle on a daily basis. Assuming all the humans and humanoids wear clothes as we are accustomed to them, what would be the quadruped ...
9
votes
7answers
760 views

Designing society for happiness

I’m designing a utopia but there’s one problem remaining. The setting is one of a highly advanced human society. We’ve eliminated disease and allowed the natural environment to replenish. ...
9
votes
4answers
418 views

How should schemers educate their children?

I'm trying to create a nation that is greedy, opportunistic & obsessed with profits and trade. They are cunning, treacherous schemers that will swindle you despite all the pleasantries and ...
9
votes
3answers
329 views

Might a ritually cannibalistic society gain a head start or have an advantage in the study and development of the sciences?

This is largely inspired by two questions that @dsollen has asked over the past year or two. The first: Would ritual cannibalism of the dead lead to issues with disease? The second: Cultural beliefs, ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

In what situation could royalty and organised crime lords mix?

I'm currently writing a story where privileged kids attend boarding school in order to become better leaders, however, the heir to a respectable and reclusive*empire falls for the heiress to a well-...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Fantastical acceptance

or; Pass me my gryphon pants please. His high school racial studies were kind of a pain, Billy thought. Spending the day as a unicorn may have made gym class easy, but it just made trying to ...
8
votes
3answers
540 views

How smart can we get?

One of the great problems in designing an Artificial Intelligence we can control is our own lack of sufficient intelligence. Partial failure here (success as designing an AI, failure at control) would ...
7
votes
10answers
2k views

In a world with multiracial creatures, what word can be used instead of mankind? [closed]

So, I've been trying to find a word which means all the people in the world. One would think of humanity, humankind, mankind, or just people, but I want something that can express the meaning properly ...
7
votes
4answers
403 views

Would those living in a “perfect society” not understand satire [closed]

I wrote a little short story about a classroom in the distant future, where the world becomes "perfect", and the students are analyzing works of satire from different periods. The teacher uses these ...
7
votes
7answers
504 views

Fiction Accuracy: American Nightmare

I checked yesterday the movie The Purge: Election Year (American Nightmare in French, which does not make sense because the title is already in English but nevermind), and I found it to be a correct ...
6
votes
13answers
2k views

How to explain conservative sexual attitudes in an atheist society

This would be a human culture in what I would consider the distant future. Depending on the individual asked, either religious traditions and notions are something a society needs to eventually ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What if hell is real… by necromancy?

This story set in a medieval world, where necromancy is forbidden by law, but openly deployed by the church to simulate hell. There is a dedicated pool of fire just below the church of this kingdom, ...
6
votes
10answers
292 views

Clothing in a society of beings with multiple personalities?

In a land where the majority of people have multiple personalities, how do the personalities distinguish themselves? Whenever they change personalities, they have an immediate need to disassociate ...
6
votes
5answers
771 views

In a post-modern world, can meeting new people mean preference over local communities and/or families?

Gonna be hard to put it to words, especially because of the rather broad scope of my question, but I think it can be a proper submission here. Here on Earth, regardless of the period and location, in ...
6
votes
6answers
524 views

How to avoid lie detectors when they are prevalent?

Let's say that a method of lie detection was created that was 99.99% accurate, portable, and cheap. It is also very generally applicable, and there is no known method to fool it. Now, it is ...
6
votes
5answers
575 views

Loss of Humanity [closed]

I have been looking at and researching dystopian fiction in hopes of writing my own story based in one. I know the kinds of factors that can all contribute to a dystopia, be it rigid governmental ...
6
votes
1answer
390 views

Cultural beliefs, practices, and prejudices of tribes practicing ritual cannibalism

This is a followup to an old question of mine here: Would ritual cannibalism of the dead lead to issues with disease? The previous question went a good ways into studying a 'safe' way that a culture ...
6
votes
1answer
130 views

Structural integrity of “The Wicker Elf”

Menzoberranzan is a large, elven nation of Drow that worships an ancient pagan religion that revolves around quasi-Wiccan traditions. This nation worships a religion revolving around nature with a ...
5
votes
9answers
889 views

How long could a race, making recourse of eugenics, survive while trying to keep “pure”

They not only traditionally dispose of most females for believing males are more valuable workers/warriors, but also of any offspring which doesn't look the right way after the first couple of months (...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

how can a society maintain its population if it considers maternal death rates a sign of weakness?

This human society is similar to the Drow in that their world is broken down into matriarchal houses. Each house has branch clans that support their own lineages, but pay homage to the main house. ...
5
votes
4answers
697 views

What happens when genetics and popular politics collide? [closed]

Disclaimer: I understand that the question I'm about to pose has the potential, even the probability, of creating a firestorm response. I'm hoping it won't happen and thank everyone in advance for ...
5
votes
11answers
629 views

How can I use the promise of immortal life to sustain and stablize an undead empire?

The heretic Pharaoh Akhanaten and his wife Nefertiti have foolishly turned their backs on the Egyptian gods to embrace the monotheistic faith of Atenism. He has declared himself the son of Aten and ...
5
votes
6answers
204 views

Could anonymity fuel desperation in robot?

A detective is working on a case of unnatural death of a prostitute, and it appears that a domestic robot is tied to the case. According to the statement from the hotel staff and manager, they have ...
5
votes
3answers
224 views

Everybody has dual personalities, how do you keep your interactions in order?

In a world I am building, the days last 9 years. One of the results of this is that many species have evolved to sleep like dolphins, one half of their brain at a time. The two sides and thus two ...